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The roof of a school in Udupi district of Karnataka was recently lifted off by high winds, providing yet another reminder of the threat climate change poses to education in India.

Impact on school infrastructure

One of the most direct impacts of climate change on education in India is damage to school infrastructure. Extreme weather events such as floods, hurricanes and storms can wreak havoc on schools and make students and teachers feel unsafe. In addition, rising sea levels threaten schools in coastal areas.

Impact on educational equity

Climate change also disproportionately affects India’s most vulnerable students. Students from low-income families and marginalized groups are more likely to live in areas vulnerable to climate change. In addition, these students are less likely to have access to quality education, making it more difficult for them to adapt to the effects of climate change.

Measures that can be taken

Many measures can be taken to mitigate the impact of climate change on education in India.

Increasing the resilience of schools to climate change
This includes measures such as elevating schools above flood levels, installing solar panels to provide backup power, and ensuring that schools have access to clean water.

Incorporating climate change into the curriculum
Students need to learn about climate change, its effects and how to adapt to and mitigate it. Teachers also need to be trained on how to teach about climate change in an engaging and effective way.

Support for students and teachers affected by climate change
This includes providing trauma support for students who have experienced climate-related disasters and professional training for teachers on how to support students affected by climate change.

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